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LONDON  :  WILLIAM  HEINEMANN 


SPIRITS  IN  BONDAGE 

A  CYCLE  OF  LYRICS 


BY 

CLIVE  HAMILTON 


IN  THREE  PARTS 

I.   THE  PRISON  HOUSE 
II.    HESITATION 
III.   THE  ESCAPE 


"  The  land  where  I  shall  never  be 
The  love  that  I  shall  never  see  " 


LONDON 
WILLIAM  HEINEMANN 


London:  William  Heinemann,  I9X9 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PROLOGUE  7 

PART  I:    THE  PRISON  HOUSE 

I.  SATAN  SPEAKS  11 

II.  FRENCH  NOCTURNE  12 

III.  THE  SATYR  14 

IV.  VICTORY  16 
V.  IRISH  NOCTURNE  18 

VI.  SPOOKS  20 

VII.  APOLOGY  21 

VIII.  ODE  FOR  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY  23 

IX.  NIGHT  27 

X.  TO  SLEEP  29 

XI.  IN  PRISON  31 

XII.  DE  PROFUNDIS  33 

XIII.  SATAN  SPEAKS  35 

XIV.  THE  WITCH  37 
XV.  DUNGEON  GRATES  40 

XVI.  THE  PHILOSOPHER  43 

XVII.  THE  OCEAN  STRAND  46 

XVIII.  NOON  48 

XIX.  MILTON  READ  AGAIN  50 

XX.  SONNET  52 

XXI.  THE  AUTUMN  MORNING  53 

5 


CONTENTS 

PAGE 

PART  II :    HESITATION 

XXII.  L'APPRENTI  SORCIER  57 

XXIII    ALEXANDRINES  60 

XXIV.  IN  PRAISE  OF  SOLID  PEOPLE  62 

PART  III:    THE  ESCAPE 

XXV.  SONG  OF  THE  PILGRIMS  69 

XXVI.  SONG  73 

XXVII.  THE  ASS  75 

XXVIII.  BALLADE  MYSTIQUE  78 

XXIX.  NIGHT  80 

XXX.  OXFORD  82 

XXXI.  HYMN  (FOR  BOYS'  VOICES)  84 

XXXII.  "  OUR  DAILY  BREAD  "  86 

XXXIII.  HOW  HE  SAW  ANGUS  THE  GOD          88 

XXXIV.  THE  ROADS  91 
XXXV.  HESPERUS  93 

XXXVI.  THE  STAR  BATH  96 

XXXVII.  TU  NE  QJLLESIERIS  98 

XXXVIII.  LULLABY  100 

XXXIX.  WORLD'S  DESIRE  102 

XL.  DEATH  IN  BATTLE  105 


PROLOGUE 

As  of  old  Phoenician  men,  to  the  Tin  Isles  sailing 
Straight  against  the  sunset  and  the  edges  of  the  earth, 
Chaunted  loud  above  the  storm  and  the  strange  sea's 

wailing, 
Legends  of  their  people  and  the  land  that  gave  them 

birth- 
Sang   aloud   to   Baal-Peor,    sang   unto   the   horned 

maiden, 
Sang  how  they  should  come  again  with  the  Brethon 

treasure  laden, 

Sang  of  all  the  pride  and  glory  of  their  hardy  enter- 
prise, 
How  they  found  the  outer  islands,  where  the  unknown 

stars  arise  ; 
And  the  rowers  down  below,  rowing  hard  as  they  could 

row, 
Toiling  at  the  stroke  and  feather  through  the  wet  and 

weary  weather, 
7 


PROLOGUE 

Even  they  forgot  their  burden  in  the  measure  of  a 

song, 
And  the  merchants  and  the  masters  and  the  bondmen 

all  together, 

Dreaming   of  the   wondrous    islands,    brought    the 

gallant  ship  along  ; 

So  in  mighty  deeps  alone  on  the  chainless  breezes 

blown 

In  my  coracle  of  verses  I  will  sing  of  lands  unknown, 
Flying  from  the  scarlet  city  where  a  Lord  that  knows 

no  pity 
Mocks  the   broken  people  praying  round  his   iron 

throne, 
— Sing  about  the  Hidden  Country  fresh  and  full  of 

quiet  green. 

Sailing  over  seas  uncharted  to  a  port  that  none  has 

seen. 


PART  I 
THE  PRISON  HOUSE 


I 

SATAN  SPEAKS 

I  AM  Nature,  the  Mighty  Mother, 
I  am  the  law  :  ye  have  none  other. 

I  am  the  flower  and  the  dewdrop  fresh, 
I  am  the  lust  in  your  itching  flesh. 

I  am  the  battle's  filth  and  strain, 
I  am  the  widow's  empty  pain. 

I  am  the  sea  to  smother  your  breath, 
I  am  the  bomb,  the  falling  death. 

I  am  the  fact  and  the  crushing  reason 

To  thwart  your  fantasy's  new-born  treason. 

I  am  the  spider  making  her  net, 
I  am  the  beast  with  jaws  blood-wet. 

I  am  a  wolf  that  follows  the  sun 
And  I  will  catch  him  ere  day  be  done. 
11 


II 
FRENCH  NOCTURNE 

(MONCHY-LE-PREUX) 

LONG  leagues  on  either  hand  the  trenches  spread 
And  all  is  still ;  now  even  this  gross  line 
Drinks  in  the  frosty  silences  divine, 
The  pale,  green  moon  is  riding  overhead. 

The  jaws  of  a  sacked  village,  stark  and  grim, 
Out  on  the  ridge  have  swallowed  up  the  sun, 
And  in  one  angry  streak  his  blood  has  run 
To  left  and  right  along  the  horizon  dim. 

There  comes  a  buzzing  plane  :  and  now,  it  seems 
Flies  straight  into  the  moon.     Lo  !  where  he  steers 
Across  the  pallid  globe  and  surely  nears 
In  that  white  land  some  harbour  of  dear  dreams  ! 

False,  mocking  fancy  I     Once  I  too  could  dream, 
Who  now  can  only  see  with  vulgar  eye 
12 


FRENCH  NOCTURNE 

That  he's  no  nearer  to  the  moon  than  I 

And  she's  a  stone  that  catches  the  sun's  beam. 

What  call  have  I  to  dream  of  anything  ? 

I  am  a  wolf.     Back  to  the  world  again, 

And  speech  of  fellow-brutes  that  once  were  men 

Our  throats  can  bark  for  slaughter  :  cannot  sing. 


13 


HI 
THE  SATYR 

WHEN  the  flowery  hands  of  spring 
Forth  their  woodland  riches  fling, 

Through  the  meadows,  through  the  valleys 
Goes  the  satyr  carolling. 

From  the  mountain  and  the  moor, 
Forest  green  and  ocean  shore 
All  the  faerie  kin  he  rallies 
Making  music  evermore. 

See  !  the  shaggy  pelt  doth  grow 
On  his  twisted  shanks  below, 

And  his  dreadful  feet  are  cloven 
Though  his  brow  be  white  as  snow — 

Though  his  brow  be  clear  and  white 
And  beneath  it  fancies  bright, 

Wisdom  and  high  thoughts  are  woven 
And  the  musics  of  delight, 
14 


THE  SATYR 

Though  his  temples  too  be  fair 
Yet  two  horns  are  growing  there 
Bursting  forth  to  part  asunder 
All  the  riches  of  his  hair. 

Faerie  maidens  he  may  meet 
Fly  the  horns  and  cloven  feet, 

But,  his  sad  brown  eyes  with  wonder 
Seeing — stay  from  their  retreat. 


15 


IV 
VICTORY 

ROLAND  is  dead,  Cuchulain's  crest  is  low, 
The  battered  war-gear  wastes  and  turns  to  rust, 
And  Helen's  eyes  and  Iseult's  lips  are  dust 
And  dust  the  shoulders  and  the  breasts  of  snow. 

The  faerie  people  from  our  woods  are  gone, 
No  Dryads  have  I  found  in  all  our  trees. 
No  Triton  blows  his  horn  about  our  seas 
And  Arthur  sleeps  far  hence  in  Avalon. 

The  ancient  songs  they  wither  as  the  grass 
And  waste  as  doth  a  garment  waxen  old, 
All  poets  have  been  fools  who  thought  to  mould 
A  monument  more  durable  than  brass. 

For  these  decay  :   but  not  for  that  decays 
The  yearning,  high,  rebellious  spirit  of  man 
That  never  rested  yet  since  life  began 
From  striving  with  red  Nature  and  her  ways, 
16 


VICTORY 

Now  in  the  filth  of  war,  the  baresark  shout 

Of  battle,  it  is  vexed.    And  yet  so  oft 

Out  of  the  deeps,  of  old,  it  rose  aloft 

That  they  who  watch  the  ages  may  not  doubt. 

Though  often  bruised,  oft  broken  by  the  rod, 
Yet,  like  the  phoenix,  from  each  fiery  bed 
Higher  the  stricken  spirit  lifts  its  head 
And  higher — till  the  beast  become  a  god. 


17 


V 

IRISH  NOCTURNE 

Now  the  grey  mist  comes  creeping  up 

From  the  waste  ocean's  weedy  strand 

And  fills  the  valley,  as  a  cup 

Is  filled  of  evil  drink  in  a  wizard's  hand  ; 

And  the  trees  fade  out  of  sight, 

Like  dreary  ghosts  unhealthily, 

Into  the  damp,  pale  night, 

Till  you  almost  think  that  a  clearer  eye  could  see 

Some  shape  come  up  of  a  demon  seeking  apart 

His  meat,  as  Grendel  sought  in  Harte 

The  thanes  that  sat  by  the  wintry  log — 

Grendel  or  the  shadowy  mass 

Of  Balor,  or  the  man  with  the  face  of  clay, 

The  grey,  grey  walker  who  used  to  pass 

Over  the  rock-arch  nightly  to  his  prey. 

But  here  at  the  dumb,  slow  stream  where  the  willows 

hang, 
18 


IRISH  NOCTURNE 

With  never  a  wind  to  blow  the  mists  apart, 

Bitter  and  bitter  it  is  for  thee,  O  my  heart, 

Looking  upon  this  land,  where  poets  sang, 

Thus  with  the  dreary  shroud 

Unwholesome,  over  it  spread, 

And  knowing  the  fog  and  the  cloud 

In  her  people's  heart  and  head 

Even  as  it  lies  for  ever  upon  her  coasts 

Making  them  dim  and  dreamy  lest  her  sons  should 

ever  arise 

And  remember  all  their  boasts  ; 
For  I  know  that  the  colourless  skies 
And  the  blurred  horizons  breed 

Lonely  desire  and  many  words  and  brooding  and 

never  a  deed. 


19 


VI 
SPOOKS 

LAST  night  I  dreamed  that  I  was  come  again 
Unto  the  house  where  my  beloved  dwells 
After  long  years  of  wandering  and  pain. 

And  I  stood  out  beneath  the  drenching  rain 
And  all  the  street  was  bare,  and  black  with  night, 
But  in  my  true  love's  house  was  warmth  and  light. 

Yet  I  could  not  draw  near  nor  enter  in, 
And  long  I  wondered  if  some  secret  sin 
Or  old,  unhappy  anger  held  me  fast ; 

Till  suddenly  it  came  into  my  head 

That  I  was  killed  long  since  and  lying  dead — 

Only  a  homeless  wraith  that  way  had  passed. 

So  thus  I  found  my  true  love's  house  again 
And  stood  unseen  amid  the  winter  night 
And  the  lamp  burned  within,  a  rosy  light, 
And  the  wet  street  was  shining  in  the  rain. 
20 


VII 

APOLOGY 

IF  men  should  ask,  Despoina,  why  I  tell 
Of  nothing  glad  nor  noble  in  my  verse 
To  lighten  hearts  beneath  this  present  curse 
And  build  a  heaven  of  dreams  in  real  hell, 

Go  you  to  them  and  speak  among  them  thus  : 

"  There  were  no  greater  grief  than  to  recall, 

Down  in  the  rotting  grave  where  the  lithe  worms 

crawl, 
Green  fields  above  that  smiled  so  sweet  to  us." 

Is  it  good  to  tell  old  tales  of  Troynovant 
Or  praises  of  dead  heroes,  tried  and  sage, 
Or  sing  the  queens  of  unforgotten  age, 
Brynhild  and  Maeve  and  virgin  Bradamant  ? 

How  should  I  sing  of  them  ?     Can  it  be  good 
To  think  of  glory  now,  when  all  is  done, 
21 


APOLOGY 

And  all  our  labour  underneath  the  sun 

Has  brought  us  this — and  not  the  thing  we  would  ? 

All  these  were  rosy  visions  of  the  night, 
The  loveliness  and  wisdom  feigned  of  old. 
But  now  we  wake.     The  East  is  pale  and  cold, 
No  hope  is  in  the  dawn,  and  no  delight. 


22 


vin 
ODE  FOR  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY 

WOE  unto  you,  ye  sons  of  pain  that  are  this  day  in 

earth, 
Now  cry  for  all  your  torment :  now  curse  your  hour 

of  birth 
And  the  fathers  who  begat  you  to  a  portion  nothing 

worth. 
And  Thou,  my  own  beloved,  for  as  brave  as  ere  thou 

art, 
Bow  down  thine  head,  Despoina,  clasp  thy  pale  arms 

over  it, 
Lie    low   with    fast-closed    eyelids,    clenched   teeth, 

enduring  heart, 
For  sorrow  on  sorrow  is  coming  wherein  all  flesh  has 

part. 
The  sky  above  is  sickening,  the  clouds  of  God's  hate 

cover  it, 

Body  and  soul  shall  suffer  beyond  all  word  or  thought, 
23 


ODE  FOR  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY 

Till  the  pain  and  noisy  terror  that  these  first  years 

have  wrought 

Seem  but  the  soft  arising  and  prelude  of  the  storm 
That  fiercer  still  and  heavier  with  sharper  lightnings 

fraught 
Shall  pour  red  wrath  upon  us  over  a  world  deform. 

Thrice  happy,  O  Despoina,  were  the  men  who  were 

alive 
In  the  great  age  and  the  golden  age  when  still  the 

cycle  ran 
On  upward  curve  and  easily,  for  then  both  maid  and 

man 
And  beast  and  tree  and  spirit  in  the  green  earth  could 

thrive. 
But  now  one  age  is  ending,  and  God  calls  home  the 

stars 
And  looses  the  wheel  of  the  ages  and  sends  it  spinning 

back 
Amid  the  death  of  nations,  and  points  a  downward 

track, 
And  madness  is  come  over  us  and  great  and  little 

wars. 
24 


ODE  FOR  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY 

He  has  not  left  one  valley,  one  isle  of  fresh  and  green 
Where  old  friends  could  forgather  amid  the  howling 

wreck. 

It's  vainly  we  are  praying.  We  cannot,  cannot  check 
The  Power  who  slays  and  puts  aside  the  beauty  that 

has  been. 

It's  truth  they  tell,  Despoina,  none  hears  the  heart's 

complaining 

For  Nature  will  not  pity,  nor  the  red  God  lend  an  ear. 
Yet  I  too  have  been  mad  in  the  hour  of  bitter  paining 
And  lifted  up  my  voice  to  God,  thinking  that  he 

could  hear 
The  curse  wherewith  I  cursed  Him  because  the  Good 

was  dead. 
But  lo  !  I  am  grown  wiser,  knowing  that  our  own 

hearts 
Have  made  a  phantom  called  the  Good,  while  a  few 

years  have  sped 
Over  a  little  planet.     And  what  should  the  great 

Lord  know  of  it 
Who  tosses  the  dust  of  chaos  and  gives  the  suns  their 

parts  ? 
25 


ODE  FOR  NEW  YEAR'S  DAY 

Hither  and  thither  he  moves  them  ;   for  an  hour  we 

see  the  show  of  it : 

Only  a  little  hour,  and  the  life  of  the  race  is  done. 
And  here  he  builds  a  nebula,  and  there  he  slays  a  sun 
And  works  his  own  fierce  pleasure.     All  things  he 

shall  fulfil, 
And  O,  my  poor  Despoina,  do  you  think  he   ever 

hears 
The  wail  of  hearts  he  has  broken,  the  sound  of  human 

ill? 
He  cares  not  for  our  virtues,  our  little  hopes  and 

fears, 

And  how  could  it  all  go  on,  love,  if  he  knew  of  laughter 

and  tears  ? 

Ah,  sweet,  if  a  man  could  cheat  him  !     If  you  could 

flee  away 

Into  some  other  country  beyond  the  rosy  West, 
To  hide  in  the  deep  forests  and  be  for  ever  at  rest 
From  the  rankling  hate  of  God  and  the  outworn 

world's  decay  I 


26 


IX 

NIGHT 

AFTER  the  fret  and  failure  of  this  day, 
And  weariness  of  thought,  O  Mother  Night, 
Come  with  soft  kiss  to  soothe  our  care  away 
And  all  our  little  tumults  set  to  right ; 
Most  pitiful  of  all  death's  kindred  fair, 
Riding  above  us  through  the  curtained  air 
On  thy  dusk  car,  thou  scatterest  to  the  earth 
Sweet  dreams  and  drowsy  charms  of  tender  might 
And  lovers'  dear  delight  before  to-morrow's  birth. 
Thus  art  thou  wont  thy  quiet  lands  to  leave 
And  pillared  courts  beyond  the  Milky  Way, 
Wherein  thou  tarriest  all  our  solar  day 
While  unsubstantial  dreams  before  thee  weave 
A  foamy  dance,  and  fluttering  fancies  play 
About  thy  palace  in  the  silver  ray 
Of  some  far,  moony  globe.     But  when  the  hour, 
The  long-expected  comes,  the  ivory  gates 
27 


NIGHT 

Open  on  noiseless  hinge  before  thy  bower 
Unbidden,  and  the  jewelled  chariot  waits 
With  magic  steeds.     Thou  from  the  fronting  run 
Bending  to  urge  them,  whilst  thy  sea-dark  hair 
Falls  in  ambrosial  ripples  o'er  each  limb, 
With  beautiful  pale  arms,  untrammelled,  bare 
For  horsemanship,  to  those  twin  chargers  fleet 
Dost  give  full  rein  across  the  fires  that  glow 
In  the  wide  floor  of  heaven,  from  off  their  feet 
Scattering  the  powdery  star-dust  as  they  go. 
Come  swiftly  down  the  sky,  O  Lady  Night, 
Fall  through  the  shadow-country,  O  most  kind, 
Shake  out  thy  strands  of  gentle  dreams  and  light 
For  chains,  wherewith  thou  still  art  used  to  bind 
With  tenderest  love  of  careful  leeches'  art 
The  bruised  and  weary  heart 
In  slumber  blind. 


28 


X 

TO  SLEEP 

I  WILL  find  out  a  place  for  thee,  O  Sleep — 
A  hidden  wood  among  the  hill-tops  green, 
Full  of  soft  streams  and  little  winds  that  creep 
The  murmuring  boughs  between. 

A  hollow  cup  above  the  ocean  placed 
Where  nothing  rough,  nor  loud,  nor  harsh  shall  be, 
But  woodland  light  and  shadow  interlaced 
And  summer  sky  and  sea. 

There  in  the  fragrant  twilight  I  will  raise 
A  secret  altar  of  the  rich  sea  sod, 
Whereat  to  offer  sacrifice  and  praise 
Unto  my  lonely  god  : 

Due  sacrifice  of  his  own  drowsy  flowers, 
The  deadening  poppies  in  an  ocean  shell 
Round  which  through  all  forgotten  days  and  hours 
The  great  seas  wove  their  spell. 
29 


TO  SLEEP 

So  may  he  send  me  dreams  of  dear  delight 
And  draughts  of  cool  oblivion,  quenching  pain, 
And  sweet,  half-wakeful  moments  in  the  night 
To  hear  the  falling  rain. 

And  when  he  meets  me  at  the  dusk  of  day 
To  call  me  home  for  ever,  this  I  ask — 
That  he  may  lead  me  friendly  on  that  way 
And  wear  no  frightful  mask. 


XI 
IN  PRISON 

I  CRIED  out  for  the  pain  of  man, 
I  cried  out  for  my  bitter  wrath 
Against  the  hopeless  life  that  ran 
For  ever  in  a  circling  path 
From  death  to  death  since  all  began  ; 
Till  on  a  summer  night 
I  lost  my  way  in  the  pale  starlight 
And  saw  our  planet,  far  and  small, 
Through  endless  depths  of  nothing  fall 
A  lonely  pin-prick  spark  of  light, 
Upon  the  wide,  enfolding  night, 
With  leagues  on  leagues  of  stars  above  it, 
And  powdered  dust  of  stars  below — 
Dead  things  that  neither  hate  nor  love  it 
Nor  even  their  own  loveliness  can  know, 
Being  but  cosmic  dust  and  dead. 
And  if  some  tears  be  shed, 
81 


IN  PRISON 

Some  evil  God  have  power, 

Some  crown  of  sorrows  sit 

Upon  a  little  world  for  a  little  hour — 

Who  shall  remember  ?     Who  shall  care  for  it  ? 


32 


XII 
DE  PROFUNDIS 

COME  let  us  curse  our  Master  ere  we  die, 

For  all  our  hopes  in  endless  ruin  lie. 

The  good  is  dead.     Let  us  curse  God  most  High. 

Four  thousand  years  of  toil  and  hope  and  thought 
Wherein  men  laboured  upward  and  still  wrought 
New  worlds  and  better,  Thou  hast  made  as  naught. 

We  built  us  joyful  cities,  strong  and  fair, 
Knowledge  we  sought  and  gathered  wisdom  rare. 
And  all  this  time  you  laughed  upon  our  care, 

And  suddenly  the  earth  grew  black  with  wrong, 
Our  hope  was  crushed  and  silenced  was  our  song, 
The  heaven  grew  loud  with  weeping.    Thou  art  strong. 

Come  then  and  curse  the  Lord.     Over  the  earth 
Gross  darkness  falls,  and  evil  was  our  birth 
And  our  few  happy  days  of  little  worth. 

33  c 


DE  PROFUNDIS 

Even  if  it  be  not  all  a  dream  in  vain 

— The  ancient  hope  that  still  will  rise  again — 

Of  a  just  God  that  cares  for  earthly  pain, 

Yet  far  away  beyond  our  labouring  night, 
He  wanders  in  the  depths  of  endless  light, 
Singing  alone  his  musics  of  delight ; 

Only  the  far,  spent  echo  of  his  song 

Our  dungeons  and  deep  cells  can  smite  along, 

And  Thou  art  nearer.     Thou  art  very  strong. 

O  universal  strength,  I  know  it  well, 

It  is  but  froth  of  folly  to  rebel, 

For  thou  art  Lord  and  hast  the  keys  of  Hell. 

Yet  I  will  not  bow  down  to  thee  nor  love  thee, 
For  looking  in  my  own  heart  I  can  prove  thee, 
And  know  this  frail,  bruised  being  is  above  thee. 

Our  love,  our  hope,  our  thirsting  for  the  right, 
Our  mercy  and  long  seeking  of  the  light, 
Shall  we  change  these  for  thy  relentless  might  ? 

Laugh  then  and  slay.     Shatter  all  things  of  worth, 
Heap  torment  still  on  torment  for  thy  mirth — 
Thou  art  not  Lord  while  there  are  Men  on  earth. 
34 


XIII 
SATAN  SPEAKS 

I  AM  the  Lord  your  God  :  even  he  that  made 
Material  things,  and  all  these  signs  arrayed 
Above  you  and  have  set  beneath  the  race 
Of  mankind,  who  forget  their  Father's  face 
And  even  while  they  drink  my  light  of  day 
Dream  of  some  other  gods  and  disobey 
My  warnings,  and  despise  my  holy  laws, 
Even  tho'  their  sin  shall  slay  them.     For  which  cause, 
Dreams  dreamed  in  vain,  a  never-filled  desire 
And  in  close  flesh  a  spiritual  fire, 
A  thirst  for  good  their  kind  shall  not  attain, 
A  backward  cleaving  to  the  beast  again. 
A  loathing  for  the  life  that  I  have  given, 
A  haunted,  twisted  soul  for  ever  riven 
Between  their  will  and  mine — such  lot  I  give 
While  still  in  my  despite  the  vermin  live. 
They  hate  my  world  !     Then  let  that  other  God 
85 


SATAN  SPEAKS 

Come  from  the  outer  spaces  glory-shod, 

And  from  this  castle  I  have  built  on  Night 

Steal  forth  my  own  thought's  children  into  light, 

If  such  an  one  there  be.    But  far  away 

He  walks  the  airy  fields  of  endless  day, 

And  my  rebellious  sons  have  called  Him  long 

And  vainly  called.    My  order  still  is  strong 

And  like  to  me  nor  second  none  I  know. 

Whither  the  mammoth  went  this  creature  too  shall  go. 


36 


XIV 
THE  WITCH 

TRAPPED  amid  the  woods  with  guile 
They've  led  her  bound  in  fetters  vile 
To  death,  a  deadlier  sorceress 
Than  any  born  for  earth's  distress 
Since  first  the  winner  of  the  fleece 
Bore  home  the  Colchian  witch  to  Greece — 
Seven  months  with  snare  and  gin 
They've  sought  the  maid  o'erwise  within 
The  forest's  labyrinthine  shade. 
The  lonely  woodman  half  afraid 
Far  off  her  ragged  form  has  seen 
Sauntering  down  the  alleys  green, 
Or  crouched  in  godless  prayer  alone 
At  eve  before  a  Druid  stone. 
But  now  the  bitter  chase  is  won, 
The  quarry's  caught,  her  magic's  done, 
The  bishop's  brought  her  strongest  spell 
87 


THE  WITCH 

To  naught  with  candle,  book,  and  bell ; 
With  holy  water  splashed  upon  her, 
She  goes  to  burning  and  dishonour 
Too  deeply  damned  to  feel  her  shame, 
For,  though  beneath  her  hair  of  flame 
Her  thoughtful  head  be  lowly  bowed 
It  droops  for  meditation  proud 
Impenitent,  and  pondering  yet 
Things  no  memory  can  forget, 
Starry  wonders  she  has  seen 
Brooding  in  the  wildwood  green 
With  holiness.     For  who  can  say 
In  what  strange  crew  she  loved  to  play, 
What  demons  or  what  gods  of  old 
Deep  mysteries  unto  her  have  told 
At  dead  of  night  in  worship  bent 
At  ruined  shrines  magnificent, 
Or  how  the  quivering  will  she  sent 
Alone  into  the  great  alone 
Where  all  is  loved  and  all  is  known, 
Who  now  lifts  up  her  maiden  eyes 
And  looks  around  with  soft  surprise 
Upon  the  noisy,  crowded  square, 
38 


THE  WITCH 

The  city  oafs  that  nod  and  stare, 
The  bishop's  court  that  gathers  there, 
The  faggots  and  the  blackened  stake 
Where  sinners  die  for  justice'  sake  ? 
Now  she  is  set  upon  the  pile, 
The  mob  grows  still  a  little  while, 
Till  lo  !  before  the  eager  folk 
Up  curls  a  thin,  blue  line  of  smoke. 
"  Alas  !  "  the  full-fed  burghers  cry, 
"  That  evil  loveliness  must  die  !  " 


39 


XV 
DUNGEON  GRATES 

So  piteously  the  lonely  soul  of  man 
Shudders  before  this  universal  plan, 
So  grievous  is  the  burden  and  the  pain, 
So  heavy  weighs  the  long,  material  chain 
From  cause  to  cause,  too  merciless  for  hate, 
The  nightmare  march  of  unrelenting  fate, 
I  think  that  he  must  die  thereof  unless 
Ever  and  again  across  the  dreariness 
There  came  a  sudden  glimpse  of  spirit  faces, 
A  fragrant  breath  to  tell  of  flowery  places 
And  wider  oceans,  breaking  on  the  shore 
For  which  the  hearts  of  men  are  always  sore. 
It  lies  beyond  endeavour  ;  neither  prayer 
Nor  fasting,  nor  much  wisdom  winneth  there, 
Seeing  how  many  prophets  and  wise  men 
Have  sought  for  it  and  still  returned  again 


40 


DUNGEON  GRATES 

With  hope  undone.     But  only  the  strange  power 

Of  unsought  Beauty  in  some  casual  hour 

Can  build  a  bridge  of  light  or  sound  or  form 

To  lead  you  out  of  all  this  strife  and  storm  ; 

When  of  some  beauty  we  are  grown  a  part 

Till  from  its  very  glory's  midmost  heart 

Out  leaps  a  sudden  beam  of  larger  light 

Into  our  souls.     All  things  are  seen  aright 

Amid  the  blinding  pillar  of  its  gold, 

Seven  times  more  true  than  what  for  truth  we 

hold 

In  vulgar  hours.     The  miracle  is  done 
And  for  one  little  moment  we  are  one 
With  the  eternal  stream  of  loveliness 
That  flows  so  calm,  aloof  from  all  distress 
Yet  leaps  and  lives  around  us  as  a  fire 
Making  us  faint  with  overstrong  desire 
To  sport  and  swim  for  ever  in  its  deep — 
Only  a  moment. 

O  1  but  we  shall  keep 

Our  vision  still.     One  moment  was  enough, 
We  know  we  are  not  made  of  mortal  stuff. 


41 


DUNGEON  GRATES 

And  we  can  bear  all  trials  that  come  after, 
The  hate  of  men  and  the  fool's  loud  bestial 

laughter 

And  Nature's  rule  and  cruelties  unclean, 
For  we  have  seen  the  Glory — we  have  seen. 


42 


XVI 
THE  PHILOSOPHER 

WHO  shall  be  our  prophet  then, 

Chosen  from  all  the  sons  of  men 

To  lead  his  fellows  on  the  way 

Of  hidden  knowledge,  delving  deep 

To  nameless  mysteries  that  keep 

Their  secret  from  the  solar  day  ! 

Or  who  shall  pierce  with  surer  eye 

This  shifting  veil  of  bittersweet 

And  find  the  real  things  that  lie 

Beyond  this  turmoil,  which  we  greet 

With  such  a  wasted  wealth  of  tears  ? 

Who  shall  cross  over  for  us  the  bridge  of  fears 

And  pass  in  to  the  country  where  the  ancient 

Mothers  dwell  ? 
Is  it  an  elder,  bent  and  hoar 
Who,  where  the  waste  Atlantic  swell 
On  lonely  beaches  makes  its  roar, 
43 


THE  PHILOSOPHER 

In  his  solitary  tower 

Through  the  long  night  hour  by  hour 

Pores  on  old  books  with  watery  eye 

When  all  his  youth  has  passed  him  by, 

And  folly  is  schooled  and  love  is  dead 

And  frozen  fancy  laid  abed, 

While  in  his  veins  the  gradual  blood 

Slackens  to  a  marish  flood  ? 

For  he  rejoiceth  not  in  the  ocean's  might, 

Neither  the  sun  giveth  delight, 

Nor  the  moon  by  night 

Shall  call  his  feet  to  wander  in  the  haunted 

forest  lawn. 

He  shall  no  more  rise  suddenly  in  the  dawn 
When  mists  are  white  and  the  dew  lies  pearly 
Cold  and  cold  on  every  meadow, 
To  take  his  joy  of  the  season  early, 
The  opening  flower  and  the  westward  shadow, 
And  scarcely  can  he  dream  of  laughter  and  love, 
They  lie  so  many  leaden  years  behind. 
Such  eyes  are  dim  and  blind, 
And  the  sad,  aching  head  that  nods  above 
His  monstrous  books  can  never  know 
44 


THE  PHILOSOPHER 

The  secret  we  would  find. 

But  let  our  seer  be  young  and  kind 

And  fresh  and  beautiful  of  show, 

And  taken  ere  the  lustyhead 

And  rapture  of  his  youth  be  dead, 

Ere  the  gnawing,  peasant  reason 

School  him  over-deep  in  treason 

To  the  ancient  high  estate 

Of  his  fancy's  principate, 

That  he  may  live  a  perfect  whole, 

A  mask  of  the  eternal  soul, 

And  cross  at  last  the  shadowy  bar 

To  where  the  ever-living  are. 


45 


XVII 
THE  OCEAN  STRAND 

O  LEAVE  the  labouring  roadways  of  the  town, 
The  shifting  faces  and  the  changeful  hue 
Of  markets,  and  broad  echoing  streets  that  drown 
The  heart's  own  silent  music.     Though  they  too 
Sing  in  their  proper  rhythm,  and  still  delight 
The  friendly  ear  that  loves  warm  human  kind, 
Yet  it  is  good  to  leave  them  all  behind, 
Now  when  from  lily  dawn  to  purple  night 
Summer  is  queen, 

Summer  is  queen  in  all  the  happy  land. 
Far,  far  away  among  the  valleys  green 
Let  us  go  forth  and  wander  hand  in  hand 
Beyond  those  solemn  hills  that  we  have  seen 
So  often  welcome  home  the  falling  sun 
Into  their  cloudy  peaks  when  day  was  done — 
Beyond  them  till  we  find  the  ocean  strand 
And  hear  the  great  waves  run, 
46 


THE  OCEAN  STRAND 

With  the  waste  song  whose  melodies  I'd  follow 
And  weary  not  for  many  a  summer  day, 
Born  of  the  vaulted  breakers  arching  hollow 
Before  they  flash  and  scatter  into  spray. 
On,  if  we  should  be  weary  of  their  play 
Then  I  would  lead  you  further  into  land 
Where,  with  their  ragged  walls,  the  stately  rocks 
Shut  in  smooth  courts  and  paved  with  quiet  sand 
To  silence  dedicate.     The  sea-god's  flocks 
Have  rested  here,  and  mortal  eyes  have  seen 
By  great  adventure  at  the  dead  of  noon 
A  lonely  nereid  drowsing  half  a-swoon 
Buried  beneath  her  dark  and  dripping  locks. 


XVIII 
NOON 

NOON  !  and  in  the  garden  bower 
The  hot  air  quivers  o'er  the  grass, 
The  little  lake  is  smooth  as  glass 
And  still  so  heavily  the  hour 
Drags,  that  scarce  the  proudest  flower 
Pressed  upon  its  burning  bed 
Has  strength  to  lift  a  languid  head  : 
— Rose  and  fainting  violet 
By  the  water's  margin  set 
Swoon  and  sink  as  they  were  dead 
Though  their  weary  leaves  be  fed 
With  the  foam-drops  of  the  pool 
Where  it  trembles  dark  and  cool, 
Wrinkled  by  the  fountain  spraying 
O'er  it.     And  the  honey-bee 
Hums  his  drowsy  melody 
And  wanders  in  his  course  a-straying 
48 


NOON 

Through  the  sweet  and  tangled  glade 
With  his  golden  mead  o'erladen, 
Where  beneath  the  pleasant  shade 
Of  the  darkling  boughs  a  maiden 
— Milky  limb  and  fiery  tress, 
All  at  sweetest  random  laid — 
Slumbers,  drunken  with  the  excess 
Of  the  noontide's  loveliness. 


XIX 
MILTON  READ  AGAIN 

(IN  SURREY) 

THBEE  golden  months  while  summer  on  us  stole 
I  have  read  your  joyful  tale  another  time, 
Breathing  more  freely  in  that  larger  clime 
And  learning  wiselier  to  deserve  the  whole. 

Your  Spirit,  Master,  has  been  close  at  hand 
And  guided  me,  still  pointing  treasures  rare, 
Thick-sown  where  I  before  saw  nothing  fair 
And  finding  waters  in  the  barren  land, 

Barren  once  thought  because  my  eyes  were  dim. 
Like  one  I  am  grown  to  whom  the  common  field 
And  often-wandered  copse  one  morning  yield 
New  pleasures  suddenly  ;  for  over  him 

Falls  the  weird  spirit  of  unexplained  delight, 
New  mystery  in  every  shady  place, 
50 


MILTON  READ  AGAIN 

In  every  whispering  tree  a  nameless  grace, 
New  rapture  on  the  windy  seaward  height. 

So  may  she  come  to  me,  teaching  me  well 
To  savour  all  these  sweets  that  lie  to  hand 
In  wood  and  lane  about  this  pleasant  land 
Though  it  be  not  the  land  where  I  would  dwell. 


XX 
SONNET 

THE  stars  come  out ;  the  fragrant  shadows  fall 

About  a  dreaming  garden  still  and  sweet, 

I  hear  the  unseen  bats  above  me  bleat 

Among  the  ghostly  moths  their  hunting  call, 

And  twinkling  glow-worms  all  about  me  crawl. 

Now  for  a  chamber  dim,  a  pillow  meet 

For  slumbers  deep  as  death,  a  faultless  sheet, 

Cool,  white  and  smooth.     So  may  I  reach  the  hall 

With  poppies  strewn  where  sleep  that  is  so  dear 

With  magic  sponge  can  wipe  away  an  hour 

Or  twelve  and  make  them  naught.    Why  not  a  year, 

Why  could  a  man  not  loiter  in  that  bower 

Until  a  thousand  painless  cycles  wore, 

And  then — what  if  it  held  him  evermore  ? 


XXI 

THE  AUTUMN  MORNING 

SEE  !  the  pale  autumn  dawn 
Is  faint,  upon  the  lawn 

That  lies  in  powdered  white 
Of  hoar-frost  dight. 

And  now  from  tree  to  tree 
The  ghostly  mist  we  see 
Hung  like  a  silver  pall 
To  hallow  all. 

It  wreathes  the  burdened  air 
So  strangely  everywhere 
That  I  could  almost  fear 
This  silence  drear 

Where  no  one  song-bird  sings 
And  dream  that  wizard  things 
Mighty  for  hate  or  love 
Were  close  above. 
53 


THE  AUTUMN  MORNING 

White  as  the  fog  and  fair 
Drifting  through  middle  air 
In  magic  dances  dread 
Over  my  head. 

Yet  these  should  know  me  too 
Lover  and  bondman  true, 
One  that  has  honoured  well 
The  mystic  spell 

Of  earth's  most  solemn  hours 
Wherein  the  ancient  powers 
Of  dryad,  elf,  or  faun 
Or  leprechaun 

Oft  have  their  faces  shown 
To  me  that  walked  alone 
Seashore  or  haunted  fen 
Or  mountain  glen. 

W7herefore  I  will  not  fear 
To  walk  the  woodlands  sere 
Into  this  autumn  day 
Far,  far  away. 

54 


PART  II 
HESITATION 


XXII 
L'APPRENTI  SORCIER 

SUDDENLY  there  came  to  me 
The  music  of  a  mighty  sea 
That  on  a  bare  and  iron  shore 
Thundered  with  a  deeper  roar 
Than  all  the  tides  that  leap  and  run 
With  us  below  the  real  sun  : 
Because  the  place  was  far  away, 
Above,  beyond  our  homely  day, 
Neighbouring  close  the  frozen  clime 
Where  out  of  all  the  woods  of  tune, 
Amid  the  frightful  seraphim 
The  fierce,  cold  eyes  of  Godhead  gleam, 
Revolving  hate  and  misery 
And  wars  and  famines  yet  to  be. 
And  in  my  dream  I  stood  alone 
Upon  a  shelf  of  weedy  stone, 
And  saw  before  my  shrinking  eyes 
57 


L'APPRENTI  SORCIER 

The  dark,  enormous  breakers  rise, 
And  hover  and  fall  with  deafening  thunder 
Of  thwarted  foam  that  echoed  under 
The  ledge,  through  many  a  cavern  drear, 
With  hollow  sounds  of  wintry  fear. 
And  through  the  waters  waste  and  grey, 
Thick-strown  for  many  a  league  away, 
Out  of  the  toiling  sea  arose 
Many  a  face  and  form  of  those 
Thin,  elemental  people  dear 
Who  live  beyond  our  heavy  sphere. 
And  all  at  once  from  far  and  near, 
They  all  held  out  their  arms  to  me, 
Crying  in  their  melody, 
"  Leap  in  !     Leap  in,  and  take  thy  fill 
Of  all  the  cosmic  good  and  ill, 
Be  as  the  Living  ones  that  know 
Enormous  joy,  enormous  woe, 
Paul  beyond  thought  and  fiery  bliss  : 
For  all  thy  study  hunted  this, 
On  wings  of  magic  to  arise, 
And  wash  from  off  thy  filmed  eyes 
The  cloud  of  cold  mortality, 
58 


L'APPRENTI  SORCIER 

To  find  the  real  life  and  be 

As  are  the  children  of  the  deep  ! 

Be  bold  and  dare  the  glorious  leap, 

Or  to  thy  shame,  go,  slink  again 

Back  to  the  narrow  ways  of  men." 

So  all  these  mocked  me  as  1  stood 

Striving  to  wake  because  I  feared  the  flood. 


59 


XXIII 
ALEXANDRINES 

THERE    is   a  house  that   most  of   all  on   earth    I 

hate. 
Though  I  have  passed  through  many  sorrows  and 

have  been 

In  bloody  fields,  sad  seas,  and  countries  desolate, 
Yet  most  I  fear  that  empty  house  where  the  grasses 

green 

Grow  in  the  silent  court  the  gaping  flags  between, 
And  down  the  moss-grown  paths  and  terrace  no  man 

treads 
Where  the  old,  old  weeds  rise  deep  on  the  waste 

garden  beds. 
Like   eyes  of  one    long  dead  the    empty  windows 

stare 
And  I  fear  to  cross  the  garden,  I   fear   to   linger 

there, 

For  hi  that  house  I  know  a  little,  silent  room 
60 


ALEXANDRINES 

Where  Someone's  always    waiting,  waiting    in   the 

gloom 

To  draw  me  with  an  evil  eye,  and  hold  me  fast — 
Yet  thither  doom  will  drive  me  and  He  will  win  at 

last. 


61 


XXIV 

IN    PRAISE   OF    SOLID 
PEOPLE 

THANK  God  that  there  are  solid  folk 
Who  water  flowers  and  roll  the  lawn, 
And  sit  and  sew  and  talk  and  smoke, 
And  snore  all  through  the  summer  dawn. 

Who  pass  untroubled  nights  and  days 
Full-fed  and  sleepily  content, 
Rejoicing  in  each  other's  praise, 
Respectable  and  innocent. 

Who  feel  the  things  that  all  men  feel, 
And  think  in  well-worn  grooves  of  thought, 
Whose  honest  spirits  never  reel 
Before  man's  mystery,  overwrought. 


62 


IN  PRAISE  OF  SOLID  PEOPLE 

Yet  not  unfaithful  nor  unkind, 
With  work-day  virtues  surely  staid, 
Theirs  is  the  sane  and  humble  mind, 
And  dull  affections  undismayed. 


0  happy  people  !     I  have  seen 

No  verse  yet  written  in  your  praise, 
And,  truth  to  tell,  the  time  has  been 

1  would  have  scorned  your  easy  ways. 


But  now  thro'  weariness  and  strife 
I  learn  your  worthiness  indeed, 
The  world  is  better  for  such  life 
As  stout,  suburban  people  lead. 


Too  often  have  I  sat  alone 
When  the  wet  night  falls  heavily, 
And  fretting  winds  around  me  moan, 
And  homeless  longing  vexes  me 


63 


IN  PRAISE  OF  SOLID  PEOPLE 

For  lore  that  I  shall  never  know, 
And  visions  none  can  hope  to  see, 
Till  brooding  works  upon  me  so 
A  childish  fear  steals  over  me. 


I  look  around  the  empty  room, 
The  clock  still  ticking  in  its  place, 
And  all  else  silent  as  the  tomb, 
Till  suddenly,  I  think,  a  face 


Grows  from  the  darkness  just  beside. 
I  turn,  and  lo  !  it  fades  away, 
And  soon  another  phantom  tide 
Of  shifting  dreams  begins  to  play, 


And  dusky  galleys  past  me  sail, 
Full  freighted  on  a  faerie  sea  ; 
I  hear  the  silken  merchants  hail 
Across  the  ringing  waves  to  me 


IN  PRAISE  OF  SOLID  PEOPLE 

— Then  suddenly,  again,  the  room, 
Familiar  books  about  me  piled, 
And  I  alone  amid  the  gloom, 
By  one  more  mocking  dream  beguiled. 


And  still  no  nearer  to  the  Light, 
And  still  no  further  from  myself, 
Alone  and  lost  in  clinging  night 
— (The  clock's  still  ticking  on  the  shelf). 

Then  do  I  envy  solid  folk 
Who  sit  of  evenings  by  the  fire, 
After  their  work  and  doze  and  smoke, 
And  are  not  fretted  by  desire. 


65 


PART  III 
THE    ESCAPE 


XXV 

SONG  OF  THE  PILGRIMS 

O  DWELLERS  at  the  back  of  the  North  Wind, 
What  have  we  done  to  you  ?     How  have  we  sinned 
Wandering  the  Earth  from  Orkney  unto  Ind  ? 

With  many  deaths  our  fellowship  is  thinned, 
Our  flesh  is  withered  in  the  parching  wind, 
Wandering  the  earth  from  Orkney  unto  Ind. 

We  have  no  rest.     We  cannot  turn  again 
Back  to  the  world  and  all  her  fruitless  pain, 
Having  once  sought  the  land  where  ye  remain. 

Some  say  ye  are  not.     But,  ah  God  !  we  know 
That  somewhere,  somewhere  past  the  Northern  snow 
Waiting  for  us  the  red-rose  gardens  blow  : 

— The  red-rose  and  the  white-rose  gardens  blow 
In  the  green  Northern  land  to  which  we  go, 
Surely  the  ways  are  long  and  the  years  are  slow. 
69 


SONG  OF  THE  PILGRIMS 

We  have  forsaken  all  things  sweet  and  fair, 
We  have  found  nothing  worth  a  moment's  care 
Because  the  real  flowers  are  blowing  there. 

Land  of  the  Lotus  fallen  from  the  sun, 
Land  of  the  Lake  from  whence  all  rivers  run, 
Land  where  the  hope  of  all  our  dreams  is  won  ! 

Shall  we  not  somewhere  see  at  close  of  day 
The  green  walls  of  that  country  far  away, 
And  hear  the  music  of  her  fountains  play  ? 

So  long  we  have  been  wandering  all  this  while 

By  many  a  perilous  sea  and  drifting  isle, 

We  scarce  shall  dare  to  look  thereon  and  smile. 

Yea,  when  we  are  drawing  very  near  to  thee, 
And  when  at  last  the  ivory  port  we  see 
Our  hearts  will  faint  with  mere  felicity  : 

But  we  shall  wake  again  in  gardens  bright 
Of  green  and  gold  for  infinite  delight, 
Sleeping  beneath  the  solemn  mountains  white, 
70 


SONG  OF  THE  PILGRIMS 

While  from  the  flowery  copses  still  unseen 

Sing  out  the  crooning  birds  that  ne'er  have  been 

Touched  by  the  hand  of  winter  frore  and  lean ; 

And  ever  living  queens  that  grow  not  old 
And  poets  wise  in  robes  of  faerie  gold 
Whisper  a  wild,  sweet  song  that  first  was  told 

Ere  God  sat  down  to  make  the  Milky  Way. 
And  in  those  gardens  we  shall  sleep  and  play 
For  ever  and  for  ever  and  a  day. 

Ah,  Dwellers  at  the  back  of  the  North  Wind, 
What  have  we  done  to  you  ?     How  have  we  sinned, 
That  ye  should  hide  beyond  the  Northern  wind  ? 

Land  of  the  Lotus,  fallen  from  the  Sun, 
When  shall  your  hidden,  flowery  vales  be  won 
And  all  the  travail  of  our  way  be  done  ? 

Very  far  we  have  searched  ;  we  have  even  seen 
The  Scythian  waste  that  bears  no  soft  nor  green, 
And  near  the  Hideous  Pass  our  feet  have  been. 
71 


SONG  OF  THE  PILGRIMS 

We  have  heard  Syrens  singing  all  night  long 
Beneath  the  unknown  stars  their  lonely  song 
In  friendless  seas  beyond  the  Pillars  strong. 

Nor  by  the  dragon-daughter  of  Hypocras 

Nor  the  vale  of  the  Devil's  head  we  have  feared  to  pass, 

Yet  is  our  labour  lost  and  vain,  alas  ! 

Scouring  the  earth  from  Orkney  unto  Ind, 

Tossed  on  the  seas  and  withered  in  the  wind, 

We  seek  and  seek  your  land.     How  have  we  sinned  ? 

Or  is  it  all  a  folly  of  the  wise, 

Bidding  us  walk  these  ways  with  blinded  eyes 

While  all  around  us  real  flowers  arise  ? 

But,  by  the  very  God,  we  know,  we  know 
That  somewhere  still,  beyond  the  Northern  snow 
Waiting  for  us  the  red-rose  gardens  blow. 


72 


XXVI 

SONG 

FAERIES  must  be  in  the  woods 
Or  the  satyrs'  laughing  broods — 
Tritons  in  the  summer  sea, 
Else  how  could  the  dead  things  be 
Half  so  lovely  as  they  are  ? 
How  could  wealth  of  star  on  star 
Dusted  o'er  the  frosty  night 
Fill  thy  spirit  with  delight 
And  lead  thee  from  this  care  of  thine 
Up  among  the  dreams  divine, 
Were  it  not  that  each  and  all 
Of  them  that  walk  the  heavenly  hall 
Is  in  truth  a  happy  isle, 
Where  eternal  meadows  smile, 
And  golden  globes  of  fruit  are  seen 
Twinkling  through  the  orchards  green 
Where  the  Other  People  go 
73 


SONG 

On  the  bright  sward  to  and  fro  ? 
Atoms  dead  could  never  thus 
Stir  the  human  heart  of  us 
Unless  the  beauty  that  we  see 
The  veil  of  endless  beauty  be, 
Filled  full  of  spirits  that  have  trod 
Far  hence  along  the  heavenly  sod 
And  seen  the  bright  footprints  of  God. 


XXVII 

THE  ASS 

I  WOKE  and  rose  and  slipt  away 

To  the  heathery  hills  in  the  morning  grey. 

In  a  field  where  the  dew  lay  cold  and  deep 
I  met  an  ass,  new-roused  from  sleep. 

I  stroked  his  nose  and  I  tickled  his  ears, 
And  spoke  soft  words  to  quiet  his  fears. 

His  eyes  stared  into  the  eyes  of  me 
And  he  kissed  my  hands  of  his  courtesy. 

"  O  big,  brown  brother  out  of  the  waste, 
How  do  thistles  for  breakfast  taste  ? 

"  And  do  you  rejoice  in  the  dawn  divine 
With  a  heart  that  is  glad  no  less  than  mine  ? 
75 


THE  ASS 

"  For,  brother,  the  depth  of  your  gentle  eyes 
Is  strange  and  mystic  as  the  skies  : 

"  What  are  the  thoughts  that  grope  behind, 
Down  in  the  mist  of  a  donkey  mind  ? 

"  Can  it  be  true,  as  the  wise  men  tell, 
That  you  are  a  mask  of  God  as  well, 

"  And,  as  in  us,  so  in  you  no  less 
Speaks  the  eternal  Loveliness, 

"  And  words  of  the  lips  that  all  things  know 
Among  the  thoughts  of  a  donkey  go  ? 

"  However  it  be,  O  four-foot  brother, 
Fair  to-day  is  the  earth,  our  mother. 

"  God  send  you  peace  and  delight  thereof, 
And  all  green  meat  of  the  waste  you  love, 

"  And  guard  you  well  from  violent  men 
Who'd  put  you  back  in  the  shafts  again." 
76 


THE  ASS 

But  the  ass  had  far  too  wise  a  head 
To  answer  one  of  the  things  I  said, 

So  he  twitched  his  fair  ears  up  and  down 
And  turned  to  nuzzle  his  shoulder  brown. 


77 


XXVIII 
BALLADE  MYSTIQUE 

THE  big,  red  house  is  bare  and  lone 

The  stony  garden  waste  and  sere 

With  blight  of  breezes  ocean  blown 

To  pinch  the  wakening  of  the  year  ; 

My  kindly  friends  with  busy  cheer 

My  wretchedness  could  plainly  show. 

They  tell  me  I  am  lonely  here — 

What  do  they  know  ?    What  do  they  know  ? 

They  think  that  while  the  gables  moan 
And  casements  creak  in  winter  drear 
I  should  be  piteously  alone 
Without  the  speech  of  comrades  dear  ; 
And  friendly  for  my  sake  they  fear, 
It  grieves  them  thinking  of  me  so 
While  all  their  happy  life  is  near — 
What  do  they  know  ?     What  do  they  know  ? 
78 


BALLADE  MYSTIQUE 

That  I  have  seen  the  Dagda's  throne 
In  sunny  lands  without  a  tear 
And  found  a  forest  all  my  own 
To  ward  with  magic  shield  and  spear, 
Where,  through  the  stately  towers  I  rear 
For  my  desire,  around  me  go 
Immortal  shapes  of  beauty  clear  : 
They  do  not  know,  they  do  not  know. 

L'ENVOI 

The  friends  I  have  without  a  peer 
Beyond  the  western  ocean's  glow, 
Whither  the  faerie  galleys  steer, 
They  do  not  know  :  how  should  they  know  ? 


79 


XXIX 

NIGHT 

I  KNOW  a  little  Druid  wood 
Where  I  would  slumber  if  I  could 
And  have  the  murmuring  of  the  stream 
To  mingle  with  a  midnight  dream, 
And  have  the  holy  hazel  trees 
To  play  above  me  in  the  breeze, 
And  smell  the  thorny  eglantine  ; 
For  there  the  white  owls  all  night  long 
In  the  scented  gloom  divine 
Hear  the  wild,  strange,  tuneless  song 
Of  faerie  voices,  thin  and  high 
As  the  bat's  unearthly  cry, 
And  the  measure  of  their  shoon 
Dancing,  dancing,  under  the  moon, 
Until,  amid  the  pale  of  dawn 
The  wandering  stars  begin  to  swoon.  .  . 
Ah,  leave  the  world  and  come  away  ! 
80 


NIGHT 

The  windy  folk  are  in  the  glade, 
And  men  have  seen  their  revels,  laid 
In  secret  on  some  flowery  lawn 
Underneath  the  beechen  covers. 
Kings  of  old,  I've  heard  them  say, 
Here  have  found  them  faerie  lovers 
That  charmed  them  out  of  life  and  kissed 
Their  lips  with  cold  lips  unafraid, 
And  such  a  spell  around  them  made 
That  they  have  passed  beyond  the  mist 
And  found  the  Country-under-wave.  .  .  . 

Kings  of  old,  whom  none  could  save  ! 


81 


XXX 

OXFORD 

IT  is  well  that  there  are  palaces  of  peace 
And  discipline  and  dreaming  and  desire, 
Lest  we  forget  our  heritage  and  cease 
The  Spirit's  work — to  hunger  and  aspire  : 

Lest  we  forget  that  we  were  born  divine, 
Now  tangled  in  red  battle's  animal  net, 
Murder  the  work  and  lust  the  anodyne, 
Pains  of  the  beast  'gainst  bestial  solace  set. 

But  this  shall  never  be  :  to  us  remains 
One  city  that  has  nothing  of  the  beast, 
That  was  not  built  for  gross,  material  gains, 
Sharp,  wolfish  power  or  empire's  glutted  feast. 

We  are  not  wholly  brute.     To  us  remains 
A  clean,  sweet  city  lulled  by  ancient  streams, 
82 


OXFORD 

A  place  of  vision  and  of  loosening  chains, 
A  refuge  of  the  elect,  a  tower  of  dreams. 

She  was  not  builded  out  of  common  stone 
But  out  of  all  men's  yearning  and  all  prayer 
That  she  might  live,  eternally  our  own, 
The  Spirit's  stronghold — barred  against  despair. 


XXXI 

HYMN  (FOR  BOYS'  VOICES) 

ALL  the  things  magicians  do 
Could  be  done  by  me  and  you 
Freely,  if  we  only  knew. 

Human  children  every  day 

Could  play  at  games  the  faeries  play 

If  they  were  but  shown  the  way. 

Every  man  a  God  would  be 
Laughing  through  eternity 
If  as  God's  his  eye  could  see. 

All  the  wizardries  of  God — 
Slaying  matter  with  a  nod, 
Charming  spirits  with  his  rod, 

With  the  singing  of  his  voice 
Making  lonely  lands  rejoice, 
Leaving  us  no  will  nor  choice, 
34 


HYMN 

Drawing  headlong  me  and  you 

As  the  piping  Orpheus  drew 

Man  and  beast  the  mountains  through, 

By  the  sweetness  of  his  horn 
Calling  us  from  lands  forlorn 
Nearer  to  the  widening  morn — 

All  that  loveliness  of  power 
Could  be  man's  peculiar  dower, 
Even  mine,  this  very  hour  ; 

We  should  reach  the  Hidden  Land 
And  grow  immortal  out  of  hand, 
If  we  could  but  understand  ! 

We  could  revel  day  and  night 
In  all  power  and  all  delight 
If  we  learned  to  think  aright. 


85 


XXXII 
"  OUR  DAILY  BREAD  " 

WE  need  no  barbarous  words  nor  solemn  spell 
To  raise  the  unknown.     It  lies  before  our  feet ; 
There  have  been  men  who  sank  down  into  Hell 
In  some  suburban  street, 

And  some  there  are  that  in  their  daily  walks 
Have  met  archangels  fresh  from  sight  of  God, 
Or  watched  how  in  their  beans  and  cabbage-stalks 
Long  files  of  faerie  trod. 

Often  me  too  the  Living  voices  call 
In  many  a  vulgar  and  habitual  place, 
I  catch  a  sight  of  lands  beyond  the  wall, 
I  see  a  strange  god's  face. 

And  some  day  this  will  work  upon  me  so 
I  shall  arise  and  leave  both  friends  and  home 
And  over  many  lands  a  pilgrim  go 
Through  alien  woods  and  foam, 
86 


«  OUR  DAILY  BREAD  " 

Seeking  the  last  steep  edges  of  the  earth 
Whence  I  may  leap  into  that  gulf  of  light 
Wherein,  before  my  narrowing  Self  had  birth, 
Part  of  me  li ved  aright. 


87 


XXXIII 
HOW  TIE  SAW  ANGUS  THE  GOD 

I  HEARD  the  swallow  sing  in  the  eaves  and  rose 
All  in  a  strange  delight  while  others  slept, 
And  down  the  creaking  stair,  alone,  tip-toes, 
So  carefully  I  crept. 

The  house  was  dark  with  silly  blinds  yet  drawn, 
But  outside  the  clean  air  was  filled  with  light, 
And  underneath  my  feet  the  cold,  wet  lawn 
With  dew  was  twinkling  bright. 

The  cobwebs  hung  from  every  branch  and  spray 
Gleaming  with  pearly  strands  of  laden  thread, 
And  long  and  still  the  morning  shadows  lay 
Across  the  meadows  spread. 

At  that  pure  hour  when  yet  no  sound  of  man, 
Stirs  in  the  whiteness  of  the  wakening  earth, 
Alone  through  innocent  solitudes  I  ran 
Singing  aloud  for  mirth. 
88 


HOW  HE  SAW  ANGUS  THE  GOD 

Till  I  had  found  the  open  mountain  heath 
Yellow  with  gorse,  and  rested  there  and  stood 
To  gaze  upon  the  misty  sea  beneath, 
Or  on  the  neighbouring  wood, 

— That  little  wood  of  hazel  and  tall  pine 
And  youngling  fir,  where  oft  we  have  loved  to  see 
The  level  beams  of  early  morning  shine 
Freshly  from  tree  to  tree. 

Though  in  the  denser  wood  there's  many  a  pool 
Of  deep  and  night-born  shadow  lingers  yet 
Where  the  new-wakened  flowers  are  damp  and  cool 
And  the  long  grass  is  wet. 

In  the  sweet  heather  long  I  rested  there 
Looking  upon  the  dappled,  early  sky, 
When  suddenly,  from  out  the  shining  air 
A  god  came  flashing  by. 

Swift,  naked,  eager,  pitilessly  fair, 
With  a  live  crown  of  birds  about  his  head, 
Singing  and  fluttering,  and  his  fiery  hair, 
Far  out  behind  him  spread, 
89 


HOW  HE  SAW  ANGUS  THE  GOD 

Streamed  like  a  rippling  torch  upon  the  breeze 
Of  his  own  glorious  swiftness  :   in  the  grass 
He  bruised  no  feathery  stalk,  and  through  the  trees 
I  saw  his  whiteness  pass. 

But,  when  I  followed  him  beyond  the  wood, 
Lo  !  he  was  changed  into  a  solemn  bull 
That  there  upon  the  open  pasture  stood 
And  browsed  his  lazy  full. 


90 


XXXIV 
THE  ROADS 

I  STAND  on  the  windy  uplands  among  the  hills  of  Down 
With  all  the  world  spread  out  beneath,  meadow  and 

sea  and  town, 

And  ploughlands  on  the  far-off  hills  that  glow  with 

friendly  brown. 

And  ever  across  the  rolling  land  to  the  far  horizon  line, 
Where  the  blue  hills  border  the  misty  west,  I  see  the 

white  roads  twine, 

The  rare  roads  and  the  fair  roads  that  call  this  heart 

of  mine. 

I  see  them  dip  in  the  valleys  and  vanish  and  rise  and 

bend 
From  shadowy  dell  to  windswept  fell,  and  still  to  the 

West  they  wend, 
And  over  the  cold  blue  ridge  at  last  to  the  great  world's 

uttermost  end. 
91 


THE  ROADS 

And  the  call  of  the  roads  is  upon  me,  a  desire  in  my 

spirit  has  grown 
To  wander  forth  in  the  highways,  'twixt  earth  and 

sky  alone, 

And  seek  for  the  lands  no  foot  has  trod  and  the  seas 

no  sail  has  known  : 

— For  the  lands  to  the  west  of  the  evening  and  east 

of  the  morning's  birth, 
Where  the  gods  unseen  in  their  valleys  green  are  glad 

at  the  ends  of  earth 

And  fear  no  morrow  to  bring  them  sorrow,  nor  night 

to  quench  their  mirth. 


92 


XXXV 
HESPERUS 

THROUGH  the  starry  hollow 

Of  the  summer  night 

I  would  follow,  follow 

Hesperus  the  bright, 

To  seek  beyond  the  western  wave 

His  garden  of  delight. 

Hesperus  the  fairest 

Of  all  gods  that  are, 

Peace  and  dreams  thou  bearest 

In  thy  shadowy  car, 

And  often  in  my  evening  walks 

I've  blessed  thee  from  afar. 

Stars  without  a  number, 
Dust  the  noon  of  night, 
Thou  the  early  slumber 
And  the  still  delight 
93 


HESPERUS 

Of  the  gentle  twilit  hours 
Rulest  in  thy  right. 

When  the  pale  skies  shiver, 

Seeing  night  is  done, 

Past  the  ocean-river, 

Lightly  thou  dost  run, 

To  look  for  pleasant,  sleepy  lands, 

That  never  fear  the  sun. 

Where,  beyond  the  waters 
Of  the  outer  sea, 
Thy  triple  crown  of  daughters 
That  guards  the  golden  tree 
Sing  out  across  the  lonely  tide 
A  welcome  home  to  thee. 

And  while  the  old,  old  dragon 
For  joy  lifts  up  his  head, 
They  bring  thee  forth  a  flagon 
Of  nectar  foaming  red, 
And  underneath  the  drowsy  trees 
Of  poppies  strew  thy  bed, 
94 


HESPERUS 

Ah  !  that  I  could  follow 
In  thy  footsteps  bright, 
Through  the  starry  hollow 
Of  the  summer  night, 
Sloping  down  the  western  ways 
To  find  my  heart's  delight ! 


95 


XXXVI 
THE  STAR  BATH 

A  PLACE  uplifted  towards  the  midnight  sky 
Far,  far  away  among  the  mountains  old, 
A  treeless  waste  of  rocks  and  freezing  cold, 
Where  the  dead,  cheerless  moon  rode  neighbour- 
ing by — 

And  in  the  midst  a  silent  tarn  there  lay, 
A  narrow  pool,  cold  as  the  tide  that  flows 
Where  monstrous  bergs  beyond  Varanger  stray, 
Rising  from  sunless  depths  that  no  man  knows  ; 
Thither  as  clustering  fireflies  have  I  seen 
At  fixed  seasons  all  the  stars  come  down 
To  wash  in  that  cold  wave  their  brightness 

clean 

And  win  the  special  fire  wherewith  they  crown 
The  wintry  heavens  in  frost.     Even  as  a  flock 
Of  falling  birds,  down  to  the  pool  they  came. 
I  saw  them  and  I  heard  the  icy  shock 
96 


THE  STAR  BATH 

Of  stars  engulfed  with  hissing  of  faint  flame 
— Ages  ago  before  the  birth  of  men 
Or  earliest  beast.    Yet  I  was  still  the  same 
That  now  remember,  knowing  not  where  or  when. 


97 


XXXVII 
TU  NE  QU^SIERIS 

FOB  all  the  lore  of  Lodge  and  Myers 
I  cannot  heal  my  torn  desires, 
Nor  hope  for  all  that  man  can  speer 
To  make  the  riddling  earth  grow  clear. 
Though  it  were  sure  and  proven  well 
That  I  shall  prosper,  as  they  tell, 
In  fields  beneath  a  different  sun 
By  shores  where  other  oceans  run, 
When  this  live  body  that  was  I 
Lies  hidden  from  the  cheerful  sky, 
Yet  what  were  endless  li ves  to  me 
If  still  my  narrow  self  I  be 
And  hope  and  fail  and  struggle  still, 
And  break  my  will  against  God's  will, 
To  play  for  stakes  of  pleasure  and  pain 
And  hope  and  fail  and  hope  again, 
Deluded,  thwarted,  striving  elf 
98 


TU  NE  QU^ESIERIS 

That  through  the  window  of  my  self 
As  through  a  dark  glass  scarce  can  see 
A  warped  and  masked  reality  ? 
But  when  this  searching  thought  of  mine 
Is  mingled  in  the  large  Divine, 
And  laughter  that  was  in  my  mouth 
Runs  through  the  breezes  of  the  South, 
When  glory  I  have  built  in  dreams 
Along  some  fiery  sunset  gleams, 
And  my  dead  sin  and  foolishness 
Grow  one  with  Nature's  whole  distress, 
To  perfect  being  I  shall  win, 
And  where  I  end  will  Life  begin. 


99 


XXXVIII 
LULLABY 

LULLABY  !  Lullaby  ! 
There's  a  tower  strong  and  high 
Built  of  oak  and  brick  and  stone, 
Stands  before  a  wood  alone. 
The  doors  are  of  the  oak  so  brown 
As  any  ale  in  Oxford  town, 
The  walls  are  builded  warm  and  thick 
Of  the  old  red  Roman  brick, 
The  good  grey  stone  is  over  all 
In  arch  and  floor  of  the  tower  tall. 
And  maidens  three  are  living  there 
Ah"  in  the  upper  chamber  fair, 
Hung  with  silver,  hung  with  pall, 
And  stories  painted  on  the  wall. 
And  softly  goes  the  whirring  loom 
In  my  ladies'  upper  room, 
For  they  shall  spin  both  night  and  day 
100 


LULLABY 

Until  the  stars  do  pass  away. 

But  every  night  at  evening. 

The  window  open  wide  they  fling, 

And  one  of  them  says  a  word  they  know 

And  out  as  three  white  swans  they  go, 

And  the  murmuring  of  the  woods  is  drowned 

In  the  soft  wings'  whirring  sound, 

As  they  go  flying  round,  around, 

Singing  in  swans'  voices  high 

A  lonely,  lovely  lullaby. 


101 


XXXEX 
WORLD'S  DESIRE 

LOVE,  there  is  a  castle  built  in  a  country  desolate, 
On  a  rock  above  a  forest  where  the  trees  are  grim  and 

great, 
Blasted   with   the   lightning   sharp — giant   boulders 

strewn  between, 

And  the  mountains  rise  above,  and  the  cold  ravine 
Echoes  to  the  crushing  roar  and  thunder  of  a  mighty 

river 
Raging  down  a  cataract.     Very  tower  and   forest 

quiver 
And  the  grey  wolves  are  afraid  and  the  call  of  birds  is 

drowned, 
And  the  thought  and  speech  of  man  in^the  boiling 

water's  sound. 

But  upon  the  further  side  of  the  barren,  sharp  ravine 
With  the  sunlight  on  its  turrets  is  the  castle  seen, 
Calm  and  very  wonderful,  white  above  the  green 
102 


WORLD'S  DESIRE 

Of  the  wet  and  waving  forest,  slanted  all  away, 
Because  the  driving  Northern  wind  will  not  rest  by 

night  or  day. 
Yet  the  towers  are  sure  above,  very  mighty  is  the 

stead, 
The  gates  are  made  of  ivory,  the  roofs  of  copper  red. 

Round  and  round  the  warders  grave  walk  upon  the 

walls  for  ever 

And  the  wakeful  dragons  couch  in  the  ports  of  ivory, 
Nothing  is  can  trouble  it,  hate  of  the  gods  nor  man's 

endeavour, 

And  it  shall  be  a  resting-place,  dear  heart,  for  you  and 

me. 

Through  the  wet  and  waving  forest  with  an  age-old 

sorrow  laden 
Singing  of  the  world's  regret  wanders  wild  the  faerie 

maiden, 
Through  the  thistle  and  the  brier,  through  the  tangles 

of  the  thorn, 
Till  her  eyes  be  dim  with  weeping  and  her  homeless 

feet  are  torn. 
108 


WORLD'S  DESIRE 

Often  to  the  castle  gate  up  she  looks  with  vain 

endeavour, 
For  her  soulless  loveliness  to  the  castle  winneth  never. 

But  within  the  sacred  court,  hidden  high  upon  the 

mountain, 
Wandering  in  the  castle  gardens  lovely  folk  enough 

there  be, 

Breathing  in  another  air,  drinking  of  a  purer  fountain, 
And  among  that  folk,  beloved,  there's  a  place  for  you 

and  me. 


104 


XL 
DEATH  IN  BATTLE 

OPEN  the  gates  for  me, 

Open  the  gates  of  the  peaceful  castle,  rosy  in  the  West, 

In  the  sweet  dim  Isle  of  Apples  over  the  wide  sea's 

breast, 
Open  the  gates  for  me  ! 

Sorely  pressed  have  I  been 

And  driven  and  hurt  beyond  bearing  this  summer  day, 
But  the  heat  and  the  pain  together  suddenly  fall  away, 
All's  cool  and  green. 

But  a  moment  agone, 

Among  men  cursing  in  fight  and  toiling,  blinded  I 

fought, 
But  the  labour  passed  on  a  sudden  even  as  a  passing 

thought, 
And  now — alone  ! 

105  H 


DEATH  IN  BATTLE 

Ah,  to  be  ever  alone, 

In  flowery  valleys  among  the  mountains  and  silent 

wastes  untrod, 

In  the  dewy  upland  places,  in  the  garden  of  God, 
This  would  atone  ! 

I  shall  not  see 

The  brutal,  crowded  faces  around  me,  that  in  their 

toil  have  grown 

Into  the  faces  of  devils — yea,  even  as  my  own — 
When  I  find  thee, 

O  Country  of  Dreams  ! 

Beyond  the  tide  of  the  ocean,  hidden  and  sunk  away, 
Out  of  the  sound  of  battles,  near  to  the  end  of  day, 
Full  of  dim  woods  and  streams. 


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From 

"  Counter  Attack 

and  other  Poems" 

by 

Siegfried  Sat  soon 


From 

"  War  Poems  ts 
other  Verses"  by 
T.  S.  Vernedr ' 


THE  GENERAL. 

"  Good  morning  ;  good  morning,"  the  General  said 
When  we  met  him  last  week  on  our  way  to  the  line. 
Now  the  soldiers  he  smiled  at  are  most  of  'em  dead, 
And  we're  cursing  his  staff  for  incompetent  swine. 
"  He's  a  cheery  old  card,"  grunted  Harry  to  Jack 
As  they  slogged  up  to  Arras  with  rifle  and  pack. 

But  he  did  for  them  both  by  his  plan  of  attack. 

To  C.  H.  V. 

What  shall  I  bring  to  you,  wife  of  mine, 

When  I  come  back  from  the  war  ? 

A  ribbon  your  dear  brown  hair  to  twine  ? 

A  shawl  from  a  Berlin  store  ? 

Sav,  shall  I  choose  you  some  Prussian  hack 

When  the  Uhlans  we  overwhelm  ? 

Shall  I  bring  you  a  Potsdam  goblet  back 

And  the  crest  from  a  Prince's  helm  ? 

Little  you'd  care  what  I  laid  at  your  feet, 

Ribbon  or  crest  or  shawl— 

What  if  I  bring  you  nothing,  sweet, 

Nor  maybe  come  home  at  all  ? 

Ah,  but  you'll  know,  Brave  Heart,  you'll  know 

Two  things  Til  have  kept  to  send  : 

Mine  honour  for  which  you  bade  me  go 

And  my  love — my  love  to  the  end. 


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From  "Fairies      NQJ    DEAD. 

and  Fusiliers"  by 

T(obert  graves     Walking  through  trees  to  cool  my  heat  and  pain, 

I  know  that  David's  with  me  here  again. 

All  that  is  simple,  happy,  strong  he  is. 

Caressingly  I  stroke 

Rough  bark  of  the  friendly  oak. 

A  brook  goes  bubbling  by  :  the  voice  is  his. 

Turf  burns  with  pleasant  smoke  ; 

I  laugh  at  chaffinch  and  at  primroses. 

All  that  is  simple,  happy,  strong  he  is. 

Over  the  whole  wood  in  a  little  while 

Breaks  his  slow  smile. 


From-frcape  ELYSIUM. 

ana  Fantasy    by 

Rostrevor  Hushed  their  feet  fall 

On  the  dewy  grass  : 
In  robes  rhythmical 
Shining  they  pass. 

Lovers  who  for  bliss 
Grave  and  rare  and  deep 
Need  no  clasp,  or  kiss, 
Or  lovers'  sleep. 

Bridegroom  and  bride, 
Though  each  walk  alone, 
Nothing  shall  divide 
Their  souls  that  are  one. 


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EDMUND  GOSSE 

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From  "Lollingdon  XXIX. 

'Downs  and  other 

Poems" by  I  could  come  again  to  that  dear  place 

John  'fMasefeld   Where  once  I  came,  where  Beauty  lived  and  moved, 
Where,  by  the  sea,  I  saw  her  face  to  face, 
That  soul  alive  by  which  the  world  has  loved  ; 
If,  as  I  stood  at  gaz,e  among  the  leaves, 
She  would  appear  again  as  once  before, 
While  the  red  herdsmen  gathered  up  his  sheaves 
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In  that  old  time,  before  I  learned  to  speak, 
Would  lean  to  me  and  revelation  come, 
Words  to  the  lips  and  colour  to  the  cheek, 
Joy  with  its  searing-iron  would  burn  me  wise  ; 
I  should  know  all,  all  powers,  all  mysteries. 


From  "The          THE  VICTOR. 

Broken  Wing? 

by  They  brought  their  peacock-lutes  of  praise 

Sarojinl  S^aidu    And  carven  gems  in  jasper  trays, 

Rich  stores  of  fragrant  musk  and  myrrh, 
And  wreaths  of  scarlet  nenuphar  .  .  . 
I  had  no  offering  that  was  meet, 
And  bowed  my  face  upon  his  feet. 

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Inwrought  with  pearl  and  silver  blooms, 
And  sumptuous  footcloths  broidered 
With  beetle-wings  and  gleaming  thread  .  . 
I  had  no  offering  that  was  meet, 
And  spread  my  hands  beneath  his  feet. 

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With  tiers  of  grain  and  towers  of  spice, 
Tall  jars  of  golden  oil  and  wine, 
And  heads  of  camel  and  of  kine  .  .  . 
I  had  no  offering  that  was  meet, 
And  laid  my  life  before  his  feet. 


ARTHUR  SYMONS 

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